Thursday, October 30, 2014

Ideas for CVC Blending

I've been working with one of my students who is still struggling to blend simple CVC words.  I honestly found that he LOVES my little word slider game that I made years ago (but just updated it with cuuute clipart for y'all).  He begged to play it and it's really helped him slide those words together to blend a CVC Word.
The teacher pulls out one letter at a time from the slider.  The student says the name of the sound and the teacher moves on to the next letter.  To make it a little easier, I have them blend the first two sounds together and then add the last sound on. The student says the word at the end. They can check to see if they got the word right by looking at the picture at the end! They LOVE it and it's so simple (the slider is make from a letter-sized envelope).

You can check out this pack {here}!

I also use lots of CUPS in my RtI and Guided Reading time.  I got this fabulous idea from Kathy Griffin's Blog.  She is so smart!

You simply write letters on plastic cups (I, of course, used Red Solo Cups). I can easily switch any of the sounds out and my student can blend the new word. It works on real words and nonsense words (um... hello DIBELS practice!). 

Here's another one I've been doing for my student to give them the letter-sound fluency. I just use Styrofoam cups and a Sharpie marker.  You can also add a "silent e" and have them say the long vowel word.  It's fun...especially when you let them hold the cups and twist. :)  

Enjoy! :) 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Halloween Haunted House Freebie

Thanks so much for all the support and love I've received over the past month after the birth of my beautiful new baby boy. (See pictures here.) It's been a really great month and I've loved having a new baby in my house and have enjoyed being home on maternity leave!

Today I have a fun little freebie for you! It was inspired by my husband who is a very talented artist. The other day he drew an awesome picture of a haunted house and I immediately knew that I wanted to turn it into some kind of school project. 

I created two Halloween activities: the first one is a simple coloring page and the second one is a Haunted House writing prompt. I made multiple versions of each activity so it can be easily used in any K-6 classroom!

Download this freebie by clicking here:

Here's a peek at what's inside:

 The coloring pages can be used by itself or as a coloring contest page. 

You can use the writing prompt pages to let students color and add details to the picture or use the blank one so students can draw their own haunted house and then write about it. 

I know how crazy Halloween can be as a teacher, but I hope you all have a great day at school tomorrow! Because I'm still on maternity leave, this will be my first Halloween in 9 years that I won't be at my school for the annual costume parade and Halloween party. However, I have volunteered to help at my older son's preschool party so it looks like I'll still get to participate in some of the fun.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Find the Missing Addend

Hello!  I wanted to introduce myself...I'm Rachelle and I blog at What the Teacher Wants.  When I say blog, I mean that I've taken a little break and now I feel like in order to write this blog post I must re-introduce myself to you! :)

It has been a crazy few months. I've started at my new school, which I LOVE.  I'm also training to be a Jazzercise Instructor.  I'm working out A LOT to build up my stamina and to be ready for the main stage.  Once I become certified in November, things will slow down and I'll be able to get back into a normal routine. Fingers crossed.

Thanks for being patient.  And not giving up on me. And for not throwing tomatoes at me. 

We will be working on Missing Addend and so I made a fun little center game.  I wanted to share it with you as a peace offering.  Think of the candy corn as Part-Whole-Whole (or a number bond or a math mountain).  The top number is the total, the bottom two numbers are the addends.  For this activity, I have my student add (start at the lowest number and count up to the total...their fingers will tell them the answer) to find the missing total, but my students will learn that you can subtract to find it as well.

For more Halloween ideas and printables, check it out {here}!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Teachers Love Pilot Pens!

Let's be honest - all teachers love pretty, colorful pens! 
Am I right?

When Pilot approached us about reviewing some of their new pens, we of course said, "YES!!"

We received a beautiful package in the mail filled with...  

Here's a peek at some of their pens:

We absolutely love Pilot's erasable line of pens and highlighters! 
They are perfect for lesson planning. No more crossing out those mistakes. These pens aren't your jr. high erasable pens (remember those?).  They are legit!  I use them in my Erin Condren planner and they write so smoothly. When my plans change, I can easily erase and re-schedule. And they also have erasable HIGHLIGHTERS? I was in awe of this (me, Rachelle). I pretty much highlighted and erased all the things in the world today.  

You've gotta getcha some Pilot pens and highlighters!  They are easily our most favorite pen, ever.  

The best part? You can get them pretty much at any of your favorite stores (Target, Walmart, etc.)

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Announcing…. Baby Sawyer!

It's been pretty quiet over here at What the Teacher Wants lately, but I have a really good (and super cute) reason why.

Little Sawyer arrived safe and sound on September 30th. 
(Born at 8:31 am, weighing 8 lbs, 12 oz, and 21 inches long.)

Baby and I are both doing well. I'm learning how to adjust to having 3 kids at home. It's a weird feeling to be on maternity leave (you mean I don't have to go to work, but I still get a paycheck?), but I am enjoying every second of having a newborn in my house again! 


Sunday, September 28, 2014

Domino Addition and Subtraction

Hi friends! I am loving my class this year and having a blast at my new school. I just wanted to share a quick little freebie with you to get your week started off with a bang!  

I just got these foam dominos from Teacher Created Resources:

I put 12 foam dominos (I love that the foam dominos make ZERO noise if they drop them...can anyone say OCD?!)  in each baggie and made about 12 sets of them (I have my students share one bag). 

You can really have your students play with the dominos in a million ways!  If they are just starting out with addition, maybe have them draw the dots and count them.  If they know how to count on, just have them count the dots on the domino and write the numbers in the boxes.  

For the subtraction, it's a great practice for them to always remember to put the biggest number at the top!  Then I have them count back to find the difference. 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Tips and Tricks for Writing Long Term Sub Plans

I only have a week and few days before my big due date and my baby could literally decide to come at any moment. I'm happy to say that I'm 99.9% (can a teacher ever really be 100%!?) ready for my maternity substitute to take over for me whenever baby gets here.

This is my second time completing maternity sub plans, and although I won't claim to be an expert, I have learned a thing or two about writing sub plans.

Here are my tips and tricks for getting ready for a long term sub:

1.  Start early
It will probably take longer than you think to get everything ready. Between typing up plans, organizing materials, making copies, and the 100 other little things you'll need to do, it helps if you get a head start on things.

2.  Make a Sub Binder
I wanted to have all my lesson plans and every thing in one place so my substitute doesn't have to search for anything around my classroom. I tried to streamline it all into pages in the binder so my sub doesn't have to switch from planner to lesson plans to important information. Everything is in order (and in page protectors and divider tabs) in the binder.

3. Type It All Up
You never know when you'll need another long term sub again, so just to be safe, it's ideal if you can type everything up so you always have a back up copy. My sub binder will be good to use for the rest of the school year (obviously the lesson plans will change), but lots of the important things like my classroom procedures and and important school information will stay the same. 

4. What to Include in a Sub Binder:
This will probably vary by grade/school/subject, but here are some important things to include in a long term sub binder:

- Important school information: 
emergency information
important school policies
school calendar

-Classroom information:
basic student expectations
list of important class procedures
behavior management plan
classroom routines
attention signals
bathroom policies
seating charts

master school schedules
week at glance schedule
daily schedule

-Lesson Plans
lesson plan outlines
teacher directions
special instructions
master copies
answer keys/rubrics (if needed)

5. Extras
Think about what else you class will need. Is there anything that will be helpful for your substitute or students while you are gone?

For me, I put together a PowerPoint with tutorials for a few of the lessons/activities that I have planned. This way my sub can put the instructions on the board and my students will be able to clearly understand what they're supposed to do.  

It's definitely not an easy job.
 It takes A LOT of work and time. 
It will give you a headache & make you want to cry.
It will all be worth it in the end!

(Stay tuned for an official birth announcement!)

Do you have any advice to share?
I'd love to hear what else you've learned about sub plans.
Leave a comment so we can all see some more helpful tips!

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